High Priest

God established rules for the nation of Israel to follow to have their sins temporarily forgiven.  They were to have a HIGH PRIEST from the tribe of Levi, to perform the sacred ceremonies on behalf of the people.  There were rigid requirements for the HIGH PRIEST to be cleansed in recognition of the holiness of God.  Anyone violating these rules was to die.

6They (HIGH PRIESTS) shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God, for they offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and the bread of their God; therefore they SHALL BE HOLY.” (Lev. 21:6).

10‘He who is the HIGH PRIEST among his brethren, on whose head the anointing oil was poured and who is consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head nor tear his clothes; 11nor shall he go near any dead body, nor defile himself for his father or his mother; 12nor shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the Lord.(Lev. 21:10-12).

34This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make ATONEMENT for the children of Israel, for all their sifts, ONCE A YEAR.” And he did as the Lord commanded Moses.(Lev. 16:34).

The HIGH PRIEST went alone into the second part of the tabernacle to perform the services with blood sacrifices, which were offered for himself and for the sins of the people.

6Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services.  7But into the second part the HIGH PRIEST went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance.(Heb. 9:6-7).

The sacrifices and ceremonies of the Old Covenant HIGH PRIESTS with the blood of animals were temporary for the people.  They pointed to Jesus Christ, the TRUE HIGH PRIEST, who made atonement with His own blood.  He entered the Most Holy Place once for all.  As a result He obtained eternal redemption for His people.

Christ offered Himself without spot to God and cleansed from their sins all past/present/future faithful believers who put their saving faith in Him.  Christ is therefore the Mediator of the New Covenant, by means of His physical death and shed blood on the cross, for the redemption of sinners.  All of those who are in Christ by faith are forgiven sinners and they receive the promise of eternal life.

11But Christ came as HIGH PRIEST of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the MOST HOLY PLACE once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.  13For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14how much more shall the BLOOD OF CHRIST, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God’ cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?  15And for this reason He is the MEDIATOR OF THE NEW COVENANT, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.(Heb. 9:11-15).